One of the most popular animal jobs is being a zoo keeper!
Although zoo keeping can be extremely rewarding it is worth remembering the reality of a zoo keeper’s life! A day in a life of a zoo keeper is very demanding with work being physical, dirty, often repetitive and sometimes sad. Your love for animals cannot be sentimental.
Lisa is one of our zoo keepers who is responsible for half of the animals on the exotic paddock section. She looks after animals such as Tapirs, Flamingos, Capybara’s and red squirrels.
What is the best part of your job?
There are many parts of my job that I truly love. The interaction with the animals is amazing; some of the animals are really affectionate like the tapirs who love having a tickle. Every day we provide enrichment for our animals, watching them enjoy our hard work makes it all worthwhile.
What is the hardest part of your job?
There are many areas of the job that are hard, but for different reasons. The work can be really physically heavy; I always get home from work exhausted! The other really hard thing is when an animal has to be put to sleep, you have to remember that the most important thing is the animals welfare not your own feelings.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
We start off by feeding all the animals, it is really important to take this opportunity to check all the animals are healthy. We then get on with the dirty job of cleaning the enclosures.
Lisa’s route to becoming a Zoo Keeper
· A levels
· Degree in Animal Science
· Lots of work experience with animals while a student
· Trainee Zoo Keeper at Drayton Manor
· Get as much experience as you can! Make sure this is the job for you, it is harder than it looks!
· Be prepared to get dirty!
Ask the Managers!
Joyce Roberts is a Zoo Manager at Drayton Manor Zoo. She has a wealth of experience and has worked from the bottom, through the ranks to the top. She has worked on every section of the zoo and really knows what it takes to be a zoo keeper.
What skills make Lisa a valuable member of the team?
Lisa is extremely hard working, an essential quality for being a zoo keeper. The other great thing about Lisa is she is keen to “get stuck in!”, she is willing to get her hands dirty and get the job done.
There are only limited zoo keeper jobs out there and many people who want them, so you need to shine. Getting as much experience is essential and a lot of determination!
Be a Zoo Keeper for the day!
Gain insight into the unique characters of many of the animals and go behind the scenes on this amazing opportunity.
Spend a day with our keepers finding out more about the species they look after and even help with some of the feeding and of course the cleaning out!
Please note the minimum age for Keeper for the Day is 14 years old.
Price: £100 donation to one of our animal charities.